Wealth & Compassion

As riches grow, empathy for others seems to decline Daisy Grewal Who is more likely to lie, cheat, and steal—the poor person or the rich one? It’s temping to think that the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to act fairly. After all, if you already have enough for yourself, it’s easier to … Continue reading

Why Are Men So Violent?

Why Are Men So Violent? Jesse J. Prinz It will not have gone unnoticed that men are more violent than women. Men perpetrate about 90 percent of the world’s homicides and start all of the wars. But why? A recent article in a prominent science journal contends that evolution has shaped men to be warriors. … Continue reading

Less Real Blood

Across the world, crime is down — and in a big way. Are violent movies to thank for less real blood and gore? CHARLES KENNY For all the grim news about the economy and jobs over the last few years, one indicator of the quality of life in the United States has stubbornly continued to … Continue reading

The Teenage Mind

ALISON GOPNIK … Adolescence has always been troubled, but for reasons that are somewhat mysterious, puberty is now kicking in at an earlier and earlier age. A leading theory points to changes in energy balance as children eat more and move less. … What happens when children reach puberty earlier and adulthood later? The answer … Continue reading

What’s Your Number?

How many sex partners has the average American woman had—and does anyone still care? Jessica Grose Anna Faris and Chris Evans in What’s Your Number? Photo by Claire Folger © 2011 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. What’s Your Number?, the new Anna Faris comedy about a 30-something woman named Ally Darling who is fixated on … Continue reading

America’s Next Top Sociologist

A daylong photo shoot for Vogue pays only $150, women are like milk cartons, and other insights from the academic study of modeling. Libby Copeland Ashley Mears wrote a sociological study of fashion models after being oneThere’s a long tradition among academics of embedding in an occupation to study it. In the middle of the … Continue reading

Why respectable people turned to looting

Linda Geddes  A millionaire’s daughter, a school teaching assistant and a lifeguard are hardly the sort of people you’d have expected to get caught up in the wave of violent looting that hit the UK earlier this week. So what drives privileged or seemingly virtuous people to do bad things? As those responsible for the … Continue reading

Minority Rules

Scientists Discover Tipping Point for the Spread of Ideas Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. The scientists, who are members of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at … Continue reading

Doing Good and Doing Well

How do you teach virtue to a skeptical generation? photo: Image Source/Getty Images By Christine Whelan This fall, I’ll be teaching an introductory college course called “The Sociology of Everyday Life.” It’s one of those familiar survey courses for freshmen and sophomores in which the goal is to establish basic concepts of social science. It … Continue reading